coming in Sep 2017
Humans vs Computers will be on sale in Sep 2017. You can read the preview on LeanPub.
Computers are determined to follow instructions to the letter – but the instructions are human, and flawed! The results can be unexpected, catastrophic, and very, very funny.
Humans vs Computers is a book about people caught between wrong assumptions and computer bugs. Some of the hilarious examples include humans who are invisible to computers, how a default password once caused a zombie apocalypse, and why airlines sometimes give away free tickets.
Our lives are increasingly tracked and monitored by software. In this brave new world, humans can’t cope with information overload. Governments and companies rely on computers to automatically detect fraud, predict behaviour and enforce laws. Inflexible automatons, barely smarter than a fridge, now make life-changing decisions.
Clever marketing tricks us into believing that phones, TV sets and even cars are somehow smart. Yet all those computer systems were created by people – people who are well-meaning but fallible and biased, clever but forgetful, and who have grand plans but are pressed for time. Digitising a piece of work doesn’t mean there will be no mistakes, but instead guarantees that when mistakes happen, they’ll run at a massive scale.
From the man whose new personalised number plate brought him 2,000 parking fines a month to the prisoner released 3 years early by an automated parole review, these cautionary tales will make you laugh till you cry.
But this is also a book on how to prevent, avoid and reduce the impact of such problems. When you’re banging your head against a digital wall, the stories in this book will help you understand better what’s going on and show you where to look for problems. And if nothing else, they will allow you to see the lighter side of the binary chaos.
And for people involved in software delivery, this book will help you find more empathy for the people suffering from your mistakes, and discover heuristics to use during analysis, development or testing to – hopefully! – make your software less error prone.
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